Comprehending the PEEK Machining Guidelines

by Walter Smith

Industry practices for machining metals are published. They have been substantiated over the years. Therefore, engineers are seeking similar technical parameters for their plastic machining processes. But they may find themselves at a loss.

The uses of PEEK machining

Usually, metal machining has been applied to different industrial needs. But there is also a record of adventurous applications. Providers of these plastic stock shapes provide material-property guidelines for various products. Some may give machining guidelines advising on the use of materials, speed, feeds, and various cutting tools.

The rise in application of PEEK machining

If you are a medical designer or manufacturing engineer, you should consider the existing dynamics of different machining plastic tools against metals. That should determine, for you, the success of a product from its outset to its functionality. Improper machining using the wrong holding tool, such as coolant, may prevent one part from meeting the design requirements. It may also lead to the premature production of goods.

Is it a good idea?

Because of the high-performance PEEK applications, various parts are often tailored with a precise finish coupled with tolerances. A Polyether ether ketone is also known as a PEEK. It is an organic thermoplastic applied in various engineering applications. This is prominent in a variety of fluid applications, include seals as well as manifolds.

The tolerances are exuded by PEEK machining

Holding the high tolerances calls for knowledge of the characteristics of PEEK. Therefore, experts in different jurisdictions have been machining various grades of the PEEK for years, exuding an experience to produce high-quality parts instantly.

The processes of PEEK machining

When PEEK machining, it is essential to manage the high pressure and stresses ejected by the material. Engineers employ a precisely controlled process to control the stress. PEEK shapes are not just strong but stiff too. This is compared to other plastic materials. Even so, it is still softer than metals. This implies that fixturing is essential.

PEEK grades are known to be more abrasive on the tooling processes than softer plastics such as nylon and acetal. This is factual for the grades that have been reinforced with carbon fibers. A carbide tooling is then applied in short runs.

Part geometry coupled with tolerances can influence the tooling selection. PCD tooling will often be considered in the long run, where tighter tolerances and parts are reinforced. A PEEK has a slightly lower elongation as compared to other plastic materials. Through deep hole drilling, into cross-sections of the parts, without a single coolant, cracking can occur.

A coolant can also be applied when machining PEEK. Water-soluble, as well as petroleum-based coolants, can be applied. The proper use of coolants can extend the life of the tool while improving the finishing surfaces of the products. Air from the cold gun can be used for smaller parts. That is, including areas where cleaning up can be challenging.

Final Thoughts

When dealing with professional PEEK machining personnel, you should provide them with sufficient information regarding your orders. Such individuals should be reliable in offering what competitors cannot. That is top-notch services at relatively affordable rates.

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